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EMH Standard when?

Hey collective! I know I read somewhere that at a certain point that the EMH becomes standard on Starfleet ships. Does anyone know where I might have read that in the books? I can’t seem to find it…help?

I’d search in the Core Rulebook, the Science Division Supplement and the Delta Quadrant supplement, in that order. If nothing’s in there, try the Command Division Supplement (within the ship-frames and talents section).

Besides that, EMHs were rolled-out at least on a testing basis in 2371, the year the Voyager took off DS9 into the Badlands. They were pretty new that time, but it was, as far as my recollection is concerned, not established that Voyager’s EMH was a prototype. Only very new.

In VOY 4x14 “Message in a Bottle”, we saw an EMH version 2 prototype. The episode takes place in 2374. By that time, EMH should definetly be standard on newly built ships.

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Enterprise-E has an EMH in 2372 (First Contact). I’d say they were standard issue on new ships by the end of 2371 and added to the refit rotation on older classes after that.


The USS Equinox launched 2370 and had a working Mark I EMH on board when she vanished in early 2371. So you can assume that EMHs became standard as late as early 2370 if not a couple of years earlier. Even the Enterprise-D might have had one, but it would have never been activated because Crusher did not like it. She only used it as a diversion in First Contact.

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Enter the ESH.
Put holo-emitters on all decks and you could fill the ship with Emergency Security Holograms.

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That would make way too much sense for Star Trek.

Likewise, Engineering Holograms (based in isolated and redundant systems with independent power supplies) should be standard in key areas for those dangerous repairs.

I really like that idea, especially for smaller ships kitted out as technical testbeds or science vessels. Must file that one away for future reference.

There is a reason why no emergency hologram has martial skills. The ECH and ETH both have military skills but can only use them in naval combat not in personal combat. BTW all emergency holograms can be deactivated by everyone with a simple voice command.

And what would that reason be? Design choice, obviously – but mandatory? Please cite source.

What would an ETH be? Emergency Technician Hologram? Even if – both the EMH and ECH were not designed for infantry combat. Why would they? – But, again: mandatory? Please cite source.

By anyone with sufficient authorisation level, yes. Any security detail can be ordered away with a simple voice command. By anyone with sufficient authorisation level.

In these arguments, I do not see anything that precludes Emergency Security Holograms.

That being said, I doubt they would really be a thing. They rely on energy and intact holo-emitters to function, making them a somewhat unreliable asset, especially in combat situations (often, there’s a ship around that can damage both; more often, infantry combat involves phasers that can also damage emitters). Plus, there’s Asimov’s Laws of Robotics. They are pretty Star Trek, so I, personally, would include them into my personal head-canon (with exceptions, of course, for robots advanced enough to qualify for a sentient lifeform, cf. Data etc.). That alone brings a whole basket of new problems.

But it’s a very interesting hook for an adventure or a whole series of adventures (maybe as B-Plot).

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No source, but there was a VOY episode about rogue holograms with martial skills and it showed how dangerous they can be, especially if they do not have mobile emitters (which BTW are extremely rare) but can use several hidden emitters which can be everywhere.

Emergency Tactical Hologram. It was shown it PIC.
PIC showed us many new emergency holograms, but they had all one thing in common: they could simply be deactivated by everyone.

And that’s the main reason why there never will be ESHs.

Thanks, I have yet to watch PIC. But, “everyone” includes enemies and non-crew-members, I supose…?

The La Sirena had only a crew of one, but all passengers could activate and deactivate all emergency holograms (EMH, ENH, EEH,ETH and EHH) even when they should not.
In 2399 at least six types of emergency holograms are known to exist:

  • ECH: Emergency Command Hologram (unique)
  • EEH: Emergency Engineering Hologram
  • EHH: Emergency Hospitality Hologram
  • EMH: Emergency Medical Hologram
  • ENH: Emergency Navigational Hologram
  • ETH: Emergency Tactcla Hologram
    Five of them were part of the basic installation of emergency holograms for civilian vessels. More types might exist.

You’d be giving a computer permission to make use of force decisions regarding sentient life.

There are ethical decisions a computer can’t be programed to make.

A holographic character is just a visual manifestation of a computer program running somewhere. The computer program uses force fields and tractor beams to manipulate objects. Logically, in most cases, there’s no logical reason to waste the energy and processing power required to generate the physical manifestation.

The whole fallacy with “holographic life forms” is that they aren’t actually holographic. They are all computer programs, there IS no life form or physical presence.

Oh, my bad. This must be the reason, why that walking computer on the Enterprise was never allowed to fire a phaser, let alone taking command. Gosh – what was I even thinking?!

You are wrong. Holograms are AIs, not as sophisticated as Soong-type androids, but they are real AIs. And as such they are considered life forms as long as they are self-aware. A NPC of a holo-novel is not self-aware and cannot act outside its parameters. Are emergency holograms life forms? They are self-aware but most of them cannot act outside their parameters… :thinking:

Starfleet and most other navies would never use holograms as regular crew, but perhaps some Ferengi merchant has a complete holographic crew including security. On the first glance they look invincible but they are not. Their holographic matrices can be disrupted, their emitters can be destroyed and they can be hacked. The poor Ferengi should have invested his latium in a real crew even if this lowers his overall profits… :wink:

Different. Data’s programming couldn’t be duplicated even 20 years later. If ever ship’s computer could be Data there wouls be no need for organic beings on every ship.

I fail to see where “AI” and “computer program” are incompatible in this context.

Slightly off topic, I thought that this was an awesome idea; mind if I steal it?

On topic: The Doctor in Voyager, a computer program, had to make life/death decisions (triage). Determining if computers (androids, holograms, etc.) is actually alive or not has been debated in countless science fiction shows and books. It can easily exist in the realm of the “eye of the beholder.”

Oh, and he didn’t cope with it too well, when he had to do so. Very… individual (as individuality was introduced by @tanksoldier as metric for deciding whether a computer was sophisticated enough to be not qualify as computer, anymore).

One can easily uphold that it would be wrong to give computers and/or artificial beings control over human life. I certainly do, adamently.

One cannot, on the other hand, transfer this sentiment to the Star Trek universe, as evidence proves: They do.

Every AI is a computer program but not every computer program is an AI!

Yes, you can.

The Doctor has clearly evolved beyond his basic programming and thus is a life form.